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Nanotechnology network NanoKTN launch NanoMicroClub to encourage global investment in UK SMEs

INMC to take selected UK nanotechnology SMEs to first of three major worldwide events

The Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network (NanoKTN), one of the UK’s primary knowledge-based networks for Micro and Nanotechnologies, and the Institute of Nanotechnology (IoN), a professional membership organisation for the nanotechnology industry, has announced its collaboration that with the support of Technology Strategy Board funding, will encourage and support UK nanotechnology SMEs in international business development.

The partnership will see the launch of the International NanoMicroClub (INMC) and the opportunity for UK SMEs to join missions to three major international events. The first of these missions will see a delegation of 5 companies attend the BioPharm America 2010 Conference, which takes place on 15th – 17th September in Boston, USA. This mission will provide unique opportunities for the selected companies to attend to develop business in nano-enabled pharmaceuticals. The companies selected to join this first Mission are world class fluid engineering research consultancy, BHR; drug discovery business Conformetrix; leading UK based biopharmaceutical company Lipoxen; nanomedicine pharmaceutical company Nanomerics and Point-2-Point Genomics.

If the future of UK nanotechnology is going to be securely embedded in the global market, the industry needs to ensure that UK SMEs are including international business development and collaboration in the marketing mix. The INMC aims to provide a platform for UK micro and nanotechnology companies to network and engage internationally with global markets, previously inaccessible due to a lack of funding.

"The INMC aims to help the selected SMEs project themselves into important export markets through research, collaboration and business development. Commercial outcomes from international deals may take time but this only reinforces the need to provide support to SMEs for international business development," explains Alec Reader, Director of the NanoKTN. "This sort of framework of support in the early stages can make the difference between success and failure and is crucially important to the UK nanotechnology market."

The three missions will cover the three major trading areas, USA, Europe and Japan. Each event will have a particular theme specific to the trading strength of each area. Following the BioPharm America Mission, the second mission will attend RusNano Forum in Moscow, Russia in November 2010. The INMC is now inviting expressions of interest to participate in the mission.

"The INMC is essentially a mechanism for SMEs to make new connections for future collaborations and business deals – we are excited about the mission to Boston as many big pharma companies will be there. Our event in Moscow is also taking shape and we hope that many SMEs will want to investigate opportunities in Russia," states Del Stark, Business Development Manager of the Institute of Nanotechnology.

Established by the Technology Strategy Board, the NanoKTN is managed by Centre for Process Innovation Ltd, a leading technology development and consulting company.

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